Friday, 3 July 2015

Loyalty Island of Lifou

Tuesday 23rd June,  Loyalty Islands

Allusive arrived at the small port of We on the East coast of Lifou which is the central of the 3 Loyalty islands not long after dawn.

This is an exposed port but there is a new marina cut into the shore which will hold about 30 boats and the rates are very cheap at about $20 per night. There was one other Aussie boat “Osprey” a new Bavaria 42 from Brisbane here when we arrived and Haven 111 arrived a few hours after us having sailed from one of the New Caledonian East coast anchorages. We had pre-arranged this meeting as we were sharing clearing expenses out of New Caledonia and into Vanuatu. Pete is sailing solo and is good company. We have also been able to help one another with a few boat jobs which makes life easier.
This little fleet of immaculately maintained Elliot 5.9 yachts intrigued me. They are owned by the local school over the road and are used to teach the students from the area the basics of sailing.
they also bring in students from other areas to sample the sport. Unfortunately there didn't appear to be a local yacht club and they couldn't advance in the sport.

The local community is mainly Kanak  and we saw very few Europeans. Our  school French has is improved dramatically as very few people here speak English and we had to find some way to communicate apart from sign language.
We didn’t move far from the boat today as we needed to catch up on some sleep.

Wednesday 24th June

A hire car had been dropped off at the marina for the 3 of us and we spent most of the day touring the island and trying out the local foods. The scenery is spectacular in many areas and the beaches and foreshores are from a tropical island paradise picture book.
we did not see many tourists on the island and most of the beaches appeared deserted.

Late in the afternoon we drove to the airport to pick up our passports. Chloe had cleared us out through immigration in Noumea and put them on the plane for us. This cost about $70.00 each and is a godsend, as all outward clearances have to be done in the capital. Once cleared we are supposed to leave NC waters within 24 hours.

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